Oregon State University has formed a new group to organize and expand its work and collaboration with unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, as well as marine and terrestrial technologies, sensing and imaging systems.
This Autonomous Systems Research Group will help facilitate work on campus, but also conduct public outreach and collaborative work with private industry and government agencies.
“Advanced aerial, terrestrial and marine systems are all being developed with highly sophisticated technologies for a wide variety of uses,” said Ronald Adams, interim vice president for research at OSU.
Those uses can include assuring safe and secure sources of food through precision agriculture; tracking and responding to changes in ocean and coastal systems; understanding the impacts of climate change and natural disasters; applications in natural resources and forest management; and deployment of advanced manufacturing technologies in industry.
“These are all areas of traditional OSU research impact and consistent with our commitments as a land, sea, space and sun grant institution,” Adams said.
“Membership in this research group will be open to all researchers interested in advancing and applying these technologies,” he said. “We hope it will help us build new connections while we pursue learning, research and problem-solving opportunities provided by these tools.”
A five-member steering committee has been named to represent the primary colleges and entities at OSU that will be involved in this initiative.
Goals of the research group include:
- Support Oregon’s designation as an FAA-approved test site to study the academic and commercial use of UAVs in the national air space.
- Share knowledge and collaborate with a large group of Pacific Northwest industries and government bodies.
- Facilitate safe flight operations and respond to required legal and liability issues.
- Help obtain the certificates of authorization required by the FAA for university flight operations.
- Develop or certify an airborne operations group to simplify safe airborne access.
- Communications programs and quarterly campus meetings will be conducted to help facilitate all these goals, officials said.